Hardware Questions

Hello everyone-
My company has been using ToolBox along with PDMWorks rather
unsuccessfully for the past 8 years. We have a lot of legacy issues
because we started using ToolBox before the multi-user enviroment came
about, and the problem is compounded by having a PDMVault. There's
also a constant struggle between design engineering and manufacturing
as to the necessity of having all of the hardware modeled vs. calling
out screws with text on the assembly drawing. We generally have top
level assemblies of 800 to 1000 parts before the hardware is installed.
We had a heated meeting yesterday to discuss these issues and it kept
coming up that "other companies" must do thing better or differently.
So I'm asking for a little input from all of those "other companies".
Do you insert hardware in all of your models?
How large are your assemblies pre hardware?
If you don't use modeled hardware, how do you specify it on assembly

Many thanks.
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We produce large packaging machinery with top level assemblies similar in size to yours. We only include hardware that is not in our "floor stock" or if it is critical to the design. Our assemblies probably require an average of eight fasteners per part; including nuts, screws, bolts, washers, etc. My child can do the math regarding what the final assembly statistics would be if we included all fasteners. Some of our assemblers have been around since before CAD and computers, so we do what we always did; let the assemblers figure out what they need to fasten two parts together. We have standards and procedures and if they can't follow them; to quote Trump; "You're Fired". Hope this helps,
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Yes, I always have (and was always required to) put all of the hardware in my assemblies. It is tedious and tiresome. It is also, in many cases, a necessary evil. I have created assy's with 2 configs - 1 one with hardware and 1 without. Most recently, I create as many sub-assy's as I can stand. A couple parts with all the necessary hardware in it. This has become, for me, the most manageable way.
Remember, feature-driven patterns are your friend! :~)>
Arlan p.s. I would love to be able to NOT put in hardware.
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I've not had to deal with this, but others have and it has been discussed in past years on this group.
The likes of Matt Lombards recommendations, available on his website as pdfs are worth reading, especially for ToolBox & PDMWorks.
Sometimes it is worth hiring a SWCP consultant, like Matt, to help understand the options and consequences rather than learning the hard way...umm...guess you've already seen some of the hard issues.
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Thanks for the feedback.
Reaper - you sound like a person after my own heart. I've made exactly the same arguments. If the assemblers can figure out which end of the screw goes in the hole we've got bigger problems than ToolBox.
Arlan - I feel your pain.
BoC - Thanks for the input. We bought Toolbox and PDM before they were acquired by SolidWorks, back in the day before best practices and SWCPs. Truth be told, I would like to find a way to avoid modeled hardware altogether and that's why I'm asking how other people deal with fastener callouts on drawings.
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I just opened the top level assy of the lift I have been working on to check the statistics. This one says 2531 parts with 439 unique parts. A guess might be that the fasteners are maybe 20% - I don't know.
We generally put in the fasteners since leaving it up to the shop floor would be disastrous - they don't know what the loads are, they don't know which way they need to go because of clearances later on, etc. But, we build custom equipment since every application is different, so that may be a different situation. By modeling in the fasteners, you get accurate counts, you can drive orders from it, you are more likely to catch errors in hole sizes, thread pitches, big nuts on small bolts, etc. You get more accurate mass properties, which may or may not be significant. (This particular lift is not a very large one for us, but it's still 10,000 pounds, so the weight of the fasteners isn't too significant.) You are more likely to catch interferences, unacceptable wrench clearances, etc.
By using the Hole Wizard to put in as many of the holes as feasible, you pick up the advantages of symmetry in the sketches, and can then still use the holes to drive a feature-driven pattern for the fasteners.
I like having the fasteners in - for us, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. (We don't use Toolbox - we have our own pretty complete library.)
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Wayne Tiffany
Got a feeling there are more than just two of you who feel this way, and likely Matt has seen it in his consulting work, too.
I myself use fasteners only when they are critical or I have to do assembly & maintenance instructions for Mexico where not all the people can read so well.
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